LibriVox recording of Arabic Primer, by Sir Arthur Cotton. Read by Nicholas James Bridgewater.
“Languages”, Sir Arthur Cotton writes, “are usually learnt as if it took a long time to learn the grammar &c., but that to speak with a good pronunciation and expression, and freely, and to catch the words from a speaker by the ear were easily and quickly acquired, but this is exactly contrary to fact.” Cotton’s “Vocal system” differs from the traditional grammatical method of learning languages in that it emphasises the development of correct pronunciation and the gradual acquisition of correct expressions and vocabulary. This is achieved through listening and repeating words and phrases uttered by a teacher. In the case of this audiobook, the teacher is the reader himself. The Arabic Primer contains only the simplest and most basic Arabic words. It allows the student to gain a foundational knowledge of the sounds and expressions of the Arabic language. Having mastered this work, the student can continue to develop his or her knowledge of Arabic through more advanced textbooks. (Summary by Nicholas James Bridgewater)
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